High volumes hospital-wide including the Emergency Department and PBMU

We are experiencing persistently high demand for medical and surgical services, with acute care beds 90% full if not higher.

The Emergency Department (ED) continues to see record high demand in the setting of a significant increase in mental health boarding. Given the resultant ED physical bed capacity constraints, patients will likely experience longer wait times. The ED remains available for all emergent patients and will continue to prioritize the sickest patients. If patients are non-emergent, please use non-ED alternatives for care whenever possible. When sending patients to the ED, please call ahead to our Mission Control center to alert us. Calling is essential to helping the ED anticipate needs. Please thank families for their patience as we balance all the needs of the community at this time.

Capacity in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU) continues to be constrained, with limited ability to accept referrals from other hospitals, due to ongoing facility improvements in the PBMU that are intended to open up more capacity over the long-term for these services.

Visitor policy updates

We continue to limit the number of visitors at the hospital and require masking in all clinical and public-facing spaces to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

  • Inpatient: Single and double rooms allow parents or adults to be identified as caregivers. Up to four people are allowed in the room with the patient at a time during visiting hours and two overnight.
  • Outpatient: At all of our clinics, we recommend that only one parent or adult caregiver come with a patient to their appointment. However, up to four people may accompany the patient at their appointment.

More information about visiting is available on our website.


Changes to telehealth offerings coming May 12

Beginning May 12, 2023, Seattle Children’s will be making changes to some of our telehealth offerings. This is due to the May 11 expiration of the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19, which included a waiver allowing us to bill telehealth visits like in-person visits not only for medical and mental health provider appointments but for other clinical roles as well.

The provider roles impacted by the changes on May 12 include audiologists, aural habilitation specialists, diabetes educators, genetic counselors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, registered dietitians, registered nurses (if a billed visit) and speech-language pathologists.

Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic is not impacted since services are billed differently based on how the clinic is licensed.

Medical Staff Services is currently working to credential some impacted clinicians so they can continue offering telehealth services to minimize the impact on patients and families.

Many of the current telehealth appointments that are already scheduled with the impacted team members — including multidisciplinary team visits — will remain scheduled as is. A limited number may be rescheduled to an earlier date or as an in-person visit based on provider and family input.